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California legislators work to set stronger clean energy targets

California legislators work to set stronger clean energy targets

California is a state that has always prided itself on a green reputation, and its lawmakers are working hard to ensure that this reputation is upheld. According to reports, California legislators are racing against the clock to pass aggressive new clean energy reforms before the current state legislative session ends next week. If passed, California could soon be striving to produce or procure half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  

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As International Business Times reports, current legislation in California dictates that the state should reach 33 percent renewable energy sourcing by 2020—the piece of legislation known as SB 350 would increase that target to 50 percent. As California sinks deeper into a severe drought, climate change and green initiatives are becoming a top priority in this state, pushing legislation like SB 350 to the forefront.  

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California’s state Senate passed SB 350 in June, and the legislation is now seeking approval from the state Assembly before it can land at the desk of Governor Jerry Brown to sign. According to the report, California energy companies are already well on their way toward meeting higher renewable energy standards, and while opponents are concerned that this could lead to higher energy bills for consumers, proponents are optimistic about the myriad opportunities that this progress could bring:

“If that happens, we’re going to see a lot of job creation that goes with that,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs, a sustainable-business advocacy group. New renewable-energy projects in California created around 3,000 jobs in the first six months of this year, or about 15 percent of the 20,300 jobs created across the country in that period, the organization found in a jobs report published Thursday.

 

California isn’t the only state in the Union making significant strides toward renewable energy usage—just recently we reported that Hawaii is making plans to rely on 100 percent self-sustaining renewable energy by 2045. But this would certainly put the state in the top ranks of renewable-minded regions.

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To meet its goal before the legislative session deadline, California lawmakers must pass SB 350 by September 11.

[SOURCE: International Business Times]

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